Disaster Recovery

Ok, “Disaster Recovery” is probably a bit over dramatic. It’s just a phrase you hear often in TV for dealing with any number of transmission problems – power cuts, terrorist attacks, a plane landing on top of you – and I just like the sound of it. πŸ™‚

sword practice

I’ve been dealing with my own ‘disaster’ recently, what with the whole ear thing. Man, you wouldn’t believe how debilitating it is not being able to balance! (or maybe you would) When it happened I couldn’t even roll over in bed without feeling like I was going to fall over, and going to the shops was an interesting experience to say the least. I felt like I was walking on marshmallows a lot of the time, and I had to be extra careful to keep my head level and not look around too quickly just in case.

I had over a week off work and even when I went back I still wasn’t quite right. In fact it was just yesterday, 2 weeks after it came on, that I finally felt like my old self once again. So far today there’s been no sign of it but I’m watching out to be sure I’m not just being overly optimistic.

xmas at tunch's

All set for Christmas? I’ve got all my presents (well, I’ve ordered all my presents – still waiting for 2 of them to get delivered). As always I’m working Christmas Day itself, so I’ll be heading up to Carlisle on the 17th for a few days to see the family. Plan on driving up which will be epic (about 5-6 hours) but it’ll be so good to have my own car when I’m there. My parents live in a village so if I want to go anywhere I have to get a lift or public transport, and that sucks, so this year I’m going vehicular, lol. You know it makes sense.

3 for 2

I just realised that I finished part 2 of my book over 2 months ago and I’ve done almost nothing since! (a couple of pages but that’s it) This is not good. I mean, I can account for about 3 weeks of that with the meditation course and felling ill, but still I should have done more in the time I’ve had. Time to pull my finger out methinks.

an englishman at the seaside

I’m in the process of figuring out what I want to do for my sabbatical. Work have agreed to it in principal, now I just need to decide when I want it for how long. The plan in general is 1 month doing the Sivananda Teacher Training Course in Austria, followed by a month or two just working and practicing at one of their Ashrams (though which one is the big question), then I might take some time off and travel a wee bit. I’m thinking maybe Australia as I’ve got some friends and family down there, and it’d be a good jumping off point for hitting Thailand.

There’s two things I really want to do in life – see the northern lights and ride an elephant – and if I’m in Oz then Thailand seems to be the place to do it (ride an heffalump that is, obviously). Just found out I’ve got the offer of somewhere to stay out there for the next year so it’s a golden opportunity. And it ties in quite nicely with heading back this way from the Land of Milk and Honey. And that brings me back to Europe just in time for Aurora Borealis season.

So I’m thinking:

August – TTC
September – Ashram work
October – Ashram work
November – Australia
December – Australia/Thailand
January – Aurora Borealis

It’s still a little sketchy as I don’t really want to spend 2 months traveling (being somewhere without something specific to do bores me). The question is where do I want to spend Christmas? How long do I want to be away really? And what do I want to do when I get back? (ok, that’s 3 questions)

I might take a year off, spend 5-6 months away, then come back, find somewhere cheap to rent, and spend 6 months just writing and see if I can make a go of that. Back in the UK in the middle of winter with nowhere to live? Not very tempting.

And can I afford all that (without spend all my savings)? As you can see there’s a lot to figure out. But I’ll get there, I have to, because if there’s one things all this being ill has taught me recently it’s you’ve got to go out there and enjoy what you do! Because no one is immortal, and people who stay home, stay safe, pay all their bills and plan for the future die just as often as people who go out there, have fun, and enjoy themselves.

Week 24: In which our hero doesn’t feel very heroic

I wish I could say I’ve done a lot this week… but I haven’t (which is ironic, as I’ve had the week off work). Actually I’m torn: On the one hand I regret the missed opportunity 7 days off gave me; but on the other hand I view achieving nothing as an achievement in and of itself.

xmas at tunch's

I mean I did stuff this week – got my tooth filled, cycled a bit, met up with my army buddy who’s on leave for a few weeks, saw a movie (The Losers), read some books (some PG Wodehouse and a Parker novel), downloaded some tunes (too many to mention, but an album of Laura Marling), went to the osteopath (an absolute revelation, let me tell you!), plus a number of other random events – but nothing really creative.

I failed miserably in my attempt to avoid nightshades. I last about a day. Tuesday all I wanted was chips, and the soporific effect that went with them, and by God that’s what I got! I don’t regret it, it was what it was. I guess now’s just not the right time for me to give them up. Later, maybe.

I did at least do a nightshade free recipe, as a sort of act of contrition. I was going to do another one, a vegan risotto, but every recipe I researched online said you needed to use white wine, and what with my not drinking I couldn’t get my head around that, so I shelved it for another time.

So anyway, I’ve had my week off. I feel rested, refreshed, and now it’s back to work. Stay tuned.

ps: The picture’s got nothing to do with anything, unless you count equating Christmas with laziness… which I do. πŸ™‚

Week 15: Skint, sleeping, sunshine and stir-fries (Kiki’s Simple Student Stir-Fry)

My, but what a lazy ass week I’ve had this week. Would that I could say that I’ve achieved anything, but I ain’t. A ragged combination of night shifts, having no money, and sheer bloody nothingness has resulted in my doing even less than usual. I know, I know, I’m disappointed too, but what can I say? Such is the nature of things sometimes. All I can say is I’m resolved to do something about it! Still, at least the sun came out finally. πŸ™‚

I’ve done a bit more tilt shifting, as per my previous post, and I’ve come up with a new recipe (to follow), so not a complete loss. Plus I have been working on my script ideas, in a vague been-thinking-about-them-and-working-out-new-outlines kind of way. ‘Fuck You, Satan!’ is moulding into something interesting, and I’m determined to finish ‘The Maraschino March’ soon too. Should be a lot easier now I’ve got no money.

Five days ’til pay day and I’m skint. Just ran out of cash. But, going to try and hold on, see if I can’t make it like I did in the old days. I mean I’ve got food in the house, and travel money, so there’s no reason why not, but still it ain’t gonna be easy. I’d kill for a bit of choclate for one thing!

Right, on with the recipe. This is something me and my mate Mark Koo invented one night with what we had in the cupboard. Turned out to be pretty damn tasty (much to our surprise). An easily adaptable recipe for whatever takes your fancy, providing you have soy sauce and something sweet to go with it.

Simple Student Stir Fry

simple student stir fry

1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
olive oil
1 tin of braised tofu, mashed
1 tin of bamboo shoots, drained
1 tbsp cashew nuts, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp honey

In a frying pan on medium-high heat, fry onion and garlic until soft. Add tofu, bamboo shoots, cashews, soy sauce and honey. Fry for further 5-7 mins (until properly heated through) stirring thoroughly. Serve on a bed of rice.

See, real easy to make. I made the cashews optional as they weren’t in the original recipe, but I thought they added a bit of texture this time. And originally it was tuna instead of braised tofu, and golden syrup instead of honey, but I think this way is better.

Anyway, if you’re ever stuck for what to eat, stir fry whatever you have with soy sauce and honey and you can’t go wrong I reckon. Works for me anyway. πŸ™‚

Right, next week will probably be a quiet one, what with 5 days of work and no money, but the week after I hope to start doing things properly. There’s a board game I’m going to get cracking with (I haven’t mentioned that one to you before), a rock climbing course to go on, and I’m determined to commit an act of trespass some time soon. Just need to find somewhere worth the effort.


Report B

This has not been my most impressive week.

I can’t honestly say I’ve achieved very much. Mostly I’ve just been getting up at 5am, going to work in the freezing cold, then getting back and plonking myself down in front of my computer with some beer and a DVD. I was going to figure out how to make vegan naan bread – did the research, bought the ingredients, got everything ready to go – then just didn’t. Opted for roast veg and a store bought nut cutlet instead. How poor is that. Seriously, it’s been so damn cold out there all I’ve wanted to do is stay home and hibernate all week.

But that’s just an excuse. I told you, I’m trying to break a long standing cycle of lethargy, so it’s going to take a while. I have been doing new things, talking to strangers (an unexpected side effect of starting this blog) and accepting new opportunities when they come along (like getting my posture checked for one thing. Result, a little twisty, and nothing some expensive chiropractic sessions couldn’t fix – surprise surprise – but ultimately not bad). My plan to read the first book someone recommended to me hasn’t worked, as no one has recommended anything to me all week, so I’ve opted instead to read the book mentioned on a poster in a local coffee shop that catches my eye every time I’m in there; Tess of the D’Urbevilles by Thomas Hardy. I’m still going to read the next book someone recommends, whenever that is, but at least I’ve got something to read now (so that’s this week covered)Β And for next week I’ve got an excellent new thing to do. I’m going to have a go in a floatation tank! No idea what it’ll be like but I’m looking forward to it. I’m hoping for a mystical experience, though I do wonder how mystical half an hour in salty water listening to whale song can be. I guess I’ll know by next Sunday eh.

I also have other plans for next week. I’m going to meditate every day, I’m going to take black and white photographs every day, and I’m not going to drink any beer (as I’m starting to get a bit of a belly of me after a rather indulgent week): Wine maybe, but no beer. I’m also going to get a start on the script writing.

I’ve figured out if I write a minimum of just 5 pages on each day I’m not working I can do 6 scripts by the end of next year easily (5 pages x 15 days a month x 12 = 6 x 120 page scripts, at least). That’s just a guideline of course, if I’m on a roll I’ll do more, but I need at least that many to complete my quota. This is seat-of-the-pants writing; seat of the pants on the seat of the chair!

So in summation:

Exercise : Bugger all.

New Thing : Book to read.

Cooking : Nowt (though I’m going to catch up this week for sure!)

Script Writing : None.

Like I said, not a very impressive week, but there’s no point sulking about it. What’s done is done, and so this is my new starting point. How could it be anything else? πŸ™‚